You can respond much more effectively during any interview or interaction, if you have some inkling of what is going on in the other person’s mind. People communicate not only through words, they also send out signals through tone of voice, volume, rate of speech, vocal pitch and also by way of facial expressions, hand gestures, postures and other forms of body language. The observation of non-verbal aspects of communication will enable you to detect the underlying emotions, motives and feelings that the person or persons you are communicating with might be having.
The truth is that most human beings are habitual liars. We lie not only for personal gain, but also when there is nothing to be gained by lying. When you are conversing with a stranger, the chances are that both of you will lie to each other within first ten minutes of the conversation. In most cases, these will be the harmless kind of lies. But the human body is a very bad liar. If you are attentive enough in studying the body language of the speaker, you will be able to detect the lie.
In order to start using your skill for reading body language, you have to first of all decide what do you want to know. Do you want to know if he or she is lying? Do you want to evaluate a person for skills or his powers of decision-making? Is he willing to offer you a job? Is this guy a personal or professional threat to you? It is better that you figure out what you need to know from the body language of any particular person before you walk into the meeting. Once the question is clear in your mind, you will be able to make your unconscious mind to remain aware of the relevant signs.
You can use your body language to make a positive impression at interviews and other social interactions. Of course, a well-prepared interview session, well-written speech or well-designed bargaining strategy is important, but that is not the only crucial message that you send. The non-verbal cues that you send play an equally important role in ensuring that you achieve your objective.
Positive body language
There are plenty of ways by which two or more people can indicate the levels of comfort or discomfort that they feel for each other. In case of positive vibes, people generally move and lean closer to each other. They are more relaxed and uncross their limbs. There will be longer periods of eye contact, even though they might, at times, look down or away out of shyness. You have to take cognisance of multiple behavioural cues in order to uncover the truth at any given moment.
Negative body language
In case of a negative interaction, people move and lean away from each other. Crossing of arms and legs is considered to be an indication of negative vibes. If someone is crossing arms and/or legs just after you have made a strong statement then that can be seen as an indication of resistance. The attitude of looking away to the side, or pointing of feet towards the exit, is also considered to be negative. If you keep your hands and legs crossed at job interviews, then you might be sending subtle signals that you are unapproachable.
Decoding eye contact
Many people believe that liars do not make eye contact. This maybe true about some liars; especially the children will be unable to make eye contact when they are lying. Most liars, especially the brazen ones, go out of their way in ensuring that they make maximum amount of eye contact while speaking the most outrageous and even dangerous lies. To ensure that their falsehoods are taken as gospel truth, they make eye contact and hold it for as long as possible. But in such cases also it is possible to detect a liar by looking for other subtle signals that his body or tone gives. It has often been observed that some liars immediately look down and away, then back at you again in a brief glimpse to see if you bought the falsehood.
Eye direction and blinking
Some researchers believe that if a person looks towards the right while speaking, then he is generally lying. But this might not be true in every case. The eye patterns might be able to give some indications of what the underlying motives are, but you have to keep an eye out for other signals also in order to be sure. Blinking is natural, but you should also pay attention to whether a person is blinking too much or too little. People often blink more rapidly when they are feeling distressed or uncomfortable. Infrequent blinking may indicate that a person is intentionally trying to control his or her eye movements.
The posture that people you are conversing with can also be indicative of what is going on in their mind. The term posture refers to how we hold our bodies as well as overall physical form of an individual. For instance, sitting up straight, may indicate that a person is focused and paying attention to what is going on around him. Sitting with the body hunched forward, on the other hand, can imply that the person is feeling bored or indifferent.